NBC news has published a report claiming Vladimir Putin "personally directed" the US election hack as part of a vendetta against Hillary Clinton.
This week the CIA claimed Russia-affliated individuals hacked the Democratic Party during the election and leaked the material to Wikileaks. Now intelligence officials have told the broadcaster they have a "high level of confidence" that the Russian president directed how the material would be systematically published.
They claim the hacking couldn't have gone ahead without authorisation from senior Kremlin officials, with one of them claiming Putin was influenced by a vendetta against Hillary Clinton and wanted to ensure America lost credibility as a reliable global power by electing Donald Trump.
Trump called these allegations 'ridiculous' earlier this week, saying that there was no evidence linking Russia to hacking.